The Manteca Buffaloes were a few innings from extending their postseason hopes a little further, but an error-filled fifth inning gave Kimball High all the ammunition it would need for a 7-5 Valley Oak League win over the Buffaloes Wednesday.
Manteca jumped on the Jaguars first with a two spot in the second inning, only to have it answered by a three-run Jaguar half of the inning. Manteca would reposition themselves back in front of Kimball with a three run fourth inning, but Kimball would make its error assisted three-run fifth inning stand tall.
“Our backs were against the wall because we needed the win and we just didn’t come through,” Manteca head coach Corey Navarro said. “We fell flat. They had a couple of good players really step up and make some key plays.”
The Buffaloes have been haunted by defensive miscues for the better part of the season, making a shot at grabbing one of the three Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths virtually impossible.
“This year, if we didn’t have all of the errors that we have made this year we would be right there,” Navarro said. “If we don’t make playoffs I will be disappointed, but I am staying positive and really looking forward to what we have next year.
“I really believe that we should be there next year.”
Peyton Rose handled the pitching duties for the Buffaloes, going the distance and striking out three in the loss. Angela Seamas and Hailee Texiera were both 2-for-3 for Manteca, with Texiera getting down a key sacrifice early in the Buffaloes scoring.
Mia Ramirez stroked a two RBI triple, while Mariah Navarro cleared the bases with a three RBI double in which she was thrown out trying to stretch into a triple. The Buffaloes were able to put the ball in play all day against Kimball, but shrunk their chances by leaving eight runners stranded on the base paths.
The Buffaloes (7-5 VOL, 13-8 overall) will be back on the diamond Tuesday when they travel across town to take on the Sierra Timberwolves at 4 p.m.